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Latest Outlook
Summary map for December 2022 outlook

December 2022 Hydrological Outlook

Period: From December 2022      Issued on 08.12.2022 using data to the end of November 2022

The outlook for December and for the December–February period is for normal to below normal river flows in most of the UK, except for the far southeast of England where normal to above normal flows are more likely. In East Anglia, below normal flows are likely to persist. Groundwater levels for the Dec-Feb period are likely to be normal to above normal in most of the UK, except in the northeast Chalk aquifer and north of London where normal to below normal levels are more likely.

Rainfall:

Most of the UK received above average rainfall amount in November, with exceptionally high precipitation near the south-eastern coast, and north-eastern Scotland. However, rainfall was below average in the northern extreme of Scotland.

The precipitation outlook for December and the Dec-Feb (issued by the Met Office on 28.11.2022) shows an increased likelihood of drier than normal conditions. The rainfall for the beginning of December has been below average for most of the UK.

River flows:

River flows in November were normal to above normal in most of the UK, with the exception of East Anglia and the far north of Scotland, where they were below normal. 

Given the increased likelihood of drier than normal conditions, river flows in December are likely to go back to normal or below normal flows for a large part of the UK. Below normal flows are likely to persist in East Anglia. Normal to above normal flows are more likely in the far southeast of England, as the effect of the exceptional rainfall received in November is likely to persist over this month. Over the three-month period, the same pattern is expected, but the likelihood of normal flows increases across the country.

Groundwater:

Groundwater levels in November were normal to below normal in the northeast Chalk aquifer and north of London, and also in northern Scotland, and exceptionally low in certain cases. In the rest of the country, including the southern Chalk aquifer, the groundwater levels were normal to above normal.

Over the next month and three-month period, the same general pattern is expected to persist over most of the country.